Down and Out in Paris and London, Paperback Book

Down and Out in Paris and London Paperback

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics series

4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


George Orwell's vivid memoir of his time living among the desperately poor and destitute, Down and Out in Paris and London is a moving tour of the underworld of society.'You have talked so often of going to the dogs - and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them.' Written when Orwell was a struggling writer in his twenties, it documents his 'first contact with poverty'.

Here, he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor - sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses of last resort, working as a dishwasher in Paris's vile 'Hotel X', surviving on scraps and cigarette butts, living alongside tramps, a star-gazing pavement artist and a starving Russian ex-army captain.

Exposing a shocking, previously-hidden world to his readers, Orwell gave a human face to the statistics of poverty for the first time - and in doing so, found his voice as a writer.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: literary
  • ISBN: 9780141184388

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Interesting short introduction by Dervla Murphy.Lucid, well-meaning critical chapters summing up the lessons learned in Paris and London: the life of <i>plongeurs</i> and of tramps.Hilarious anecdotes on the tramps' attitude towards religious charities.Colorful slang in English censored out, short chapter on slang and swearing and its evolution.

Review by

Wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but found it immensely enjoyable. I found the details of Orwell's life in poverty in both Paris and London to be very interesting and written extremely well. The 'action' is interspersed occasionally with commentary on various situations which made me think about the enormous differences between society in the early 20th century and today. Despite its age the book is extremely accesible and I'll be looking to more of the authors memoirs.

Review by

I preferred the Paris parts to the London parts but a thoroughly good read. I would certainly recommend.

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